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November 17, 2012

Today in History

Today is Sunday, Nov. 18, the 323rd day of 2012. There are 43 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Nov. 18, 1942, "The Skin of Our Teeth," Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize-winning allegory about the history of humankind, opened on Broadway.

On this date:

In 1865, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" by Mark Twain was first published under the title "Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog" in the New York Saturday Press.

In 1883, the United States and Canada adopted a system of Standard Time zones.

In 1886, the 21st president of the United States, Chester A. Arthur, died in New York.

In 1910, British suffragists clashed with police outside Parliament on what became known as "Black Friday."

In 1928, Walt Disney's first sound-synchronized animated cartoon, "Steamboat Willie" starring Mickey Mouse, premiered in New York.

In 1936, Germany and Italy recognized the Spanish government of Francisco Franco.

In 1958, the cargo freighter SS Carl D. Bradley sank during a storm in Lake Michigan, claiming 33 of the 35 lives on board.

In 1962, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Niels Bohr died in his native Denmark at age 77.

In 1966, U.S. Roman Catholic bishops did away with the rule against eating meat on Fridays outside of Lent.

In 1978, U.S. Rep. Leo J. Ryan, D-Calif., and four others were killed in Jonestown, Guyana, by members of the Peoples Temple; the killings were followed by a night of mass murder and suicide by more than 900 cult members.

In 1987, the congressional Iran-Contra committees issued their final report, saying President Ronald Reagan bore "ultimate responsibility" for wrongdoing by his aides. A fire at London King's Cross railway station claimed 31 lives.

In 1991, Shiite Muslim kidnappers in Lebanon freed Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite and Thomas Sutherland, the American dean of agriculture at the American University of Beirut.

Ten years ago: U.N. arms inspectors returned to Iraq after a four-year hiatus, calling on Saddam Hussein's government to cooperate with their search for weapons of mass destruction. Actor James Coburn died in Beverly Hills, Calif., at age 74.

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